MANCHESTER City are set to be biggest winners from Uefa’s new Champions League cash pot.
Nyon chiefs and Europe’s biggest clubs agreed a new distribution deal with the total prize pot for next season’s expanded competitions set to rise to £3.78bn per season.
While the continent’s smallest clubs and leagues will benefit as the “solidarity” payments for them will more than double to £378m, Prem and other major sides also stand to make millions more.
And Champions League holders City are poised to be top of the winners’ pile after further details of the money split were revealed by European Club Association chief executive Charlie Marshall.
The deal between Uefa and the ECA was confirmed at the club group’s general assembly in Berlin.
Uefa announced that the current system, with four different pots for competing clubs – known as “pillars” – will change to three.
It means a bigger qualification bonus for all 36 teams in the new competition, worth a starting £28.9m per team before a ball is kicked – up from £16.3m this season.
Performance related bonuses will also increase, with payments based initially on places in the table after the eight games in the initial phase and then extra for negotiating the knock-out round.
And while the controversial “historical coefficient” payments have now been merged with the TV “market pool” – English teams take the biggest cut between them because of the size of the deal agreed by BT Sport before its recent rebrand as TNT Sport – City will still cash in.
Marshall revealed that while historical payments will remain, they will be based on performances over the past five years and not the current 10-year calculation which takes previous titles going back to the 1950s into account.
It means City, fourth in the 10-year table, are odds-on to be top and take the biggest share of the smaller percentage pot – a total of £1.32bn will be split between the clubs – adding to their income stream.
City, who banked £117m for the Champions League exertions alone last term, could realistically now get nearer £200m for winning when the new-look competition begins next term.
Marshall confirmed: “The calculation will be on a five-year basis, not 10 as it is currently.”
Speaking after the meeting, which elected City chief executive Ferran Soriano to the board position vacated by Spurs’ Daniel Levy, ECA head Nasser Al-Khelaifi dismissed the threat posed by the Saudi Pro League.
He said: “We have the best club competition in the world, the best coaches, the best clubs and the best players.
“We do not need to talk about things outside Europe. I don’t think there’s any danger from Saudi Arabia.”
But Bayern Munich’s new chief exec Jan-Christian Dreesen, who replaced the ousted Oliver Kahn at the Bavarian giants, did suggest Europe needed to make sure global transfer windows were aligned – and vowed to ensure the Champions League showpiece stayed in Europe.
There has been talk of the final moving on a rotation basis to other continents, with New York and Qatar mentioned as potential venues.
Dreesen insisted: “We’re not the Cirque du Soleil.
“We are talking about a European competition and championship. We play our matches in Europe.”
He added: “I think it would be good if we closed the window at the same time everywhere. I will propose we find a way to make this happen.”